Judith Gordon, PhD, a professor and associate dean for research in the University of Arizona College of Nursing, received the 2023 Distinguished Mentor Award from the university. The award “recognizes outstanding tenured or continuing status faculty at the full professor rank who have mentored early career faculty and made highly valued contributions to the mentoring of graduate students.”
“It’s an honor just to be nominated for this award,” said Dr. Gordon, who has an additional appointment as a professor of family and community medicine in the UArizona College of Medicine – Tucson. “Receiving the award is meaningful because it’s validation that my mentees and colleagues value my contributions.”
Dr. Gordon said good mentorship is essential for everyone, from undergraduate students to full professors. “To paraphrase the old sayings, ‘no one is an island’ and ‘it takes a village.’ We all need guidance, resources, support and connections to professional networks to develop professionally and achieve our career goals,” she said.
Sheila M. Gephart, PhD, RN, a professor and interim chair of the Biobehavioral Health Sciences Division in the UArizona College of Nursing, nominated Dr. Gordon for the award.
“Dr. Gordon is an innovative, meticulous and generative mentor,” Dr. Gephart wrote in the nomination letter. “Her career is a testament to transformative mentorship. Her grit and grace have raised the standard of mentoring across the University of Arizona Health Sciences to enable faculty, peers and graduate students to solve grand challenges in the spirit of the University of Arizona’s mission.”
Dr. Gordon, who also is a member of the BIO5 Institute, said she received excellent mentorship during the early stages of her academic career. “Leaders in my field were very generous with their time and expertise. I learned so much from them and greatly benefitted from their mentorship. I maintain contact with many of my past mentors and continue to collaborate with several of them. I hope to be as inspirational and helpful to my mentees as my mentors were to me.”